Is natural selection undeniable?

0 views
Skip to first unread message

John Jones

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 7:54:42 AM2/13/10
to
"Is natural selection undeniable?"
The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.

We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
natural selection doesn't work.

What started out looking like a question that could be empirically
ascertained as being true or "undeniable", actually turns out to be a
species of tautology. In this case, synonyms (natural selection, and
life-forms that exist) are erroneously regarded as different events in
relationship.

AN EXAMPLE to CLARIFY
For example. We could say that "it is undeniable that explosions cause
things to fly apart". Here the tautology is to regard the synonyms
"explosion" and "fly apart" as two empirically real events in
relationship, when in fact there is only one event.

Similarly, "natural selection" and "existing life-form" aren't two
empirically real events in undeniable relationship. There is no
empirical relationship at all, as there is only one event.

Nic

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 8:18:09 AM2/13/10
to

Theres only nature, and there is suitability for purpose caused by
nature, and there is the recent one caused by mankind. Man is not God
only a part of the natural evolution (as I imagined it to be) I'm
thinking then that there are some human value systems developing into
some stereotypes all founded upon suitability for purpose...love is
undeniable, is that naturally adjusted ? do we still have the right to
decide who we should love? should any descision be necessary? aught it
ever be mentioned? why can't some people help themselves by being
human and making a human choice to a social adjusted 'fair-play'
suitability for purpose choice?

tg

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 12:49:25 PM2/13/10
to
On Feb 13, 7:54 am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.
>
> We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
> turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
> have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
> non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
> natural selection doesn't work.
>

No, chance creates the lineup, then selection reduces the lineup to
one characteristic. Natural in natural selection doesn't mean nature,
the term is to distinguish it from human selective breeding.

-tg

Virgil

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 1:19:12 PM2/13/10
to
In article <hl67e8$lc1$1...@news.eternal-september.org>,
John Jones <jonesc...@btinternet.com> wrote:

> "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable.

And it isn't even relevant.

The relevant questions are
(1) is natural selection compatible with the physical evidence and,
(2) if so, is there is any other theory more compatible.

Chazwin

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 1:31:42 PM2/13/10
to

I think it might be worthwhile to consider a temporal dimension.
If you accept that species have changed over time; that there is
variation; and that less fit versions will fail; then you have
evolution.
Given these factors then evolution is undeniable. It would be hard to
imagine a world where no evolution took place given these factors.
You even demonstrate the process with bacteria.
Your example holds only if there is no time.

Chazwin

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 1:35:06 PM2/13/10
to
On Feb 13, 1:18 pm, Nic <n.m.ke...@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:
> On 13 Feb, 12:54, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> > The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.
>
> > We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
> > turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
> > have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
> > non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
> > natural selection doesn't work.
>
> > What started out looking like a question that could be empirically
> > ascertained as being true or "undeniable", actually turns out to be a
> > species of tautology. In this case, synonyms (natural selection, and
> > life-forms that exist) are erroneously regarded as different events in
> > relationship.
>
> > AN EXAMPLE to CLARIFY
> > For example. We could say that "it is undeniable that explosions cause
> > things to fly apart". Here the tautology is to regard the synonyms
> > "explosion" and "fly apart" as two empirically real events in
> > relationship, when in fact there is only one event.
>
> > Similarly, "natural selection" and "existing life-form" aren't two
> > empirically real events in undeniable relationship. There is no
> > empirical relationship at all, as there is only one event.
>
> Theres only nature, and there is suitability for purpose caused by
> nature, and there is the recent one caused by mankind.

Suitability is an effect of selection. Nature is not a casual agent.

Man is not God
> only a part of the natural evolution (as I imagined it to be) I'm
> thinking then that there are some human value systems developing into
> some stereotypes all founded upon suitability for purpose...love is
> undeniable, is that naturally adjusted ? do we still have the right to
> decide who we should love? should any descision be necessary? aught it
> ever be mentioned? why can't some people help themselves by being
> human and making a human choice to a social adjusted 'fair-play'
> suitability for purpose choice?

All these things that you might call altruism can only be understood
as side-effects.
I can be as equally altruistic to a person who has none of my genes as
to a animal or family.
Emotional responses to do recognise genetic makeup.
It would be an evil world were we to only love those that shared our
genes.

Chazwin

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 1:39:09 PM2/13/10
to
On Feb 13, 5:49 pm, tg <tgdenn...@earthlink.net> wrote:
> On Feb 13, 7:54 am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>
> > "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> > The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.
>
> > We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
> > turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
> > have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
> > non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
> > natural selection doesn't work.
>
> No, chance creates the lineup, then selection reduces the lineup to
> one characteristic. Natural in natural selection doesn't mean nature,
> the term is to distinguish it from human selective breeding.


Nope. Nature NEVER reduces the line-up to ONE characteristic. If it
could we would all look very different.
The only criteria is viable progeny. No other trait is SELECTED. All
traits that are either useful, neutral or even negative
can be selected just so long as this single criterion is met. That is
why we all get bad backs, appendix problems; have ugly ears; no body
hair
and a whole host of not very well designed features.
All human breeding and selection is domestic.

Chazwin

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 1:39:36 PM2/13/10
to
On Feb 13, 6:19 pm, Virgil <Vir...@home.esc> wrote:
> In article <hl67e8$lc...@news.eternal-september.org>,

>  John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>
> > "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> > The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable.
>
> And it isn't even relevant.
>
> The relevant questions are
> (1) is natural selection compatible with the physical evidence and,
> (2) if so, is there is any other theory more compatible.

That is one way to look at it.

TruthSlave

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 3:27:49 PM2/13/10
to


Call me dim, but where is the selection in Natural selection,
surely the point is about natural survival. Nature doesn't
select. The environment doesn't select. Instead its the genes,
or the species, or the individual, which survies the environment.

Selection speaks of thought, or if not thought then certainly
of choice. Judgment after a kind. Is this really true of nature?

Art

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 3:59:24 PM2/13/10
to
On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 20:27:49 +0000, TruthSlave <T...@home.com> wrote:

>Selection speaks of thought, or if not thought then certainly
>of choice. Judgment after a kind. Is this really true of nature?

It's consciousness all the way down :)

Art
http://home.ptd.net/~artnpeg

John Jones

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 7:50:21 PM2/13/10
to
tg wrote:
> On Feb 13, 7:54 am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>> "Is natural selection undeniable?"
>> The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.
>>
>> We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
>> turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
>> have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
>> non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
>> natural selection doesn't work.
>>
>
> No, chance creates the lineup, then selection reduces the lineup to
> one characteristic. Natural in natural selection doesn't mean nature,
> the term is to distinguish it from human selective breeding.
>
> -tg


But then we could turn around and say that "chance" and
"existing-life-form" are synonymous. All you have done is replace
"natural selection" with "chance".

John Jones

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 7:52:25 PM2/13/10
to


Didn't I just explain that you can't test for natural selection? Didn't
I give the reason as being that it is grammatically invalid, and not
just "compatible" or not?!!

John Jones

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 7:53:25 PM2/13/10
to

No, it isn't ANY way to look at it. The original question "is natural
selection undeniable" is simply grammatically otiose.

John Jones

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 7:54:41 PM2/13/10
to

No. You miss the point. It isn't ontological. It isn't testable or
deniable or temporal or spatial. It's GRAMMATICALLY invalid.

John Jones

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 7:56:21 PM2/13/10
to

Now you are just replacing "natural selection" with "natural survival".
But my whole point was that there is no process or relationship. It is
grammatically invalid.

Virgil

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 8:03:47 PM2/13/10
to
In article <bXDdn.146379$Fm7....@newsfe16.iad>,
TruthSlave <T...@home.com> wrote:


> Selection speaks of thought, or if not thought then certainly
> of choice. Judgment after a kind. Is this really true of nature?

Selection only requires a criterion and a mechanism.
The criterion is the match of the individual to its environment and the
mechanism is differential reproduction, the fittest reproduce most.

Immortalist

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 8:16:06 PM2/13/10
to
On Feb 13, 4:54 am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.
>
> We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
> turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
> have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
> non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
> natural selection doesn't work.
>

Natural selection is just the process of elimination. Here are some
prime examples of the default notion, look see the way of natural
selection behind team playoff's and other examples.

Immortalist

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 8:17:17 PM2/13/10
to
On Feb 13, 5:16 pm, Immortalist <reanimater_2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Feb 13, 4:54 am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>
> > "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> > The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.
>
> > We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
> > turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
> > have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
> > non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
> > natural selection doesn't work.
>
> Natural selection is just the process of elimination. Here are some
> prime examples of the default notion, look see the way of natural
> selection behind team playoff's and other examples.
>

Woops, forgot the copy, edit paste job, here;

Once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains,
however unlikely, is the truth
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

To keep a reaction going according
to the law of mass action, there
must be a continuous supply of
energy and of selected matter
(molecules) and a continuous
process of elimination of
the reaction products.
- P. Mora
- http://tinyurl.com/px9j6

Trial and error (AKA: generate and test or guess and check) is a
method of problem solving for obtaining knowledge, both propositional
knowledge and know-how.

One selects (or generates) a possible answer, applies it to the
problem and, if it is not successful, selects (or generates) another
possibility that is subsequently tried. The process ends when a
possibility yields a solution.

In some versions of trial and error, the option that is a priori
viewed as the most likely one should be tried first, followed by the
next most likely, and so on until a solution is found, or all the
options are exhausted. In other versions, options are simply tried at
random.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial-and-error

Use the Process of Elimination

Virtually all problems with PCs involve more than one component or
subsystem. The difficulty is usually in figuring out which component
is responsible for the problem.

Using the process of elimination
you can usually narrow the problem
down rather quickly by making small
logical changes and observing the
impact on the problem.

Your objective is to isolate the cause of the problem so you can
correct it.

The key is to make only one
change at a time and then see
if the problem goes away;

...if it does, then whatever you changed is likely responsible for the
problem (although it could be fixing the problem indirectly in some
cases.) If you make more than one change at a time, you cannot readily
discern which change was responsible for fixing the problem.

You will want to first check
the most probable sources of
the problem, and also the things
that are easiest to change.

[For example]: if you are having a problem with your disk drive being
recognized, it's a lot easier and cheaper to explore things like
double-checking jumpers and connections or replacing the interface
cable, than it is to try replacing the drive itself. That is something
you'd only do after you had eliminated all the other possibilities (or
if the evidence implicated the hard disk directly).

Here's a simple example. Let's suppose one morning your PC will not
turn on. You hit the switch and nothing happens. There could be many
different possible causes for this problem: the power to the house
could be out; there could be a malfunction in the wall socket; the
surge suppressor that the system is plugged into might have blown; the
electrical cord may be loose; the power supply could be damaged. To
figure out what is going on you need to eliminate these variables by
making small changes and seeing what happens. For example:

Change the wall socket you are using. If the PC now boots, you have
isolated the cause to the electrical wiring in the house.
If the problem persists, examine the surge suppressor. Change it, or
temporarily bypass it and plug the PC into the wall directly. If it
now works, the surge suppressor is the problem.

If the problem still isn't fixed, try changing the power cord.

If the problem persists still, you may then have to open up the box
and look at the power supply unit to see if it might need replacing.

Realize that the key here is making these changes one at a time. If
you approach this problem by changing the wall socket you use,
bypassing the surge suppressor, and changing the power cord all at
once, your problem may go away but how will you know what caused it?

http://www.pcguide.com/ts/gen/diagElimination-c.html

Football Manager logo competition shortlist is published – winner to
be found by process of elimination over the next 14 days. ...Visitors
to each of these sites will be asked to vote for their favourite logo,
with the least popular being eliminated as the days unfold.

http://forums.ic-games.co.uk/showthread.php?t=325

The National Football League (NFL) is the largest professional
American football league, consisting of thirty-two teams from American
cities and regions.

The league's teams are divided into two conferences: the American
Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).

Each conference is then further divided into four divisions consisting
of four teams each, labeled East, West, North, and South.

During the league's regular season, each team plays sixteen games over
a seventeen-week period generally from September to January.

At the end of each regular season, six teams from each conference play
in the NFL playoffs, a twelve-team single-elimination tournament that
culminates with the NFL championship, the Super Bowl. This game is
held at a pre-selected site which is usually a city that hosts an NFL
team or a popular college stadium...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NFL

In the regular season, each team plays 82 games, which are divided
evenly between home and away games. Schedules are not identical for
all teams. A team faces opponents in its own division four times a
year, teams from the other two divisions in its conference either
three or four times, and teams in the other conference twice apiece. A
team can therefore have a relatively easy or difficult schedule,
depending on the division and conference it is located in.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA

The National & American leagues are each split into three divisions
and structured as listed in the tables above.

In all, there are 30 teams in the two leagues: 16 in the older
National League ("NL") and 14 in the American League ("AL"). The
leagues do not have the same number of teams because 15 teams in each
league would force interleague play (or rest days) every day. Each has
its teams split into three divisions grouped generally by geography.
They are (number of teams in each division in parenthesis): NL East
(5), NL Central (6), NL West (5), AL East (5), AL Central (5), and AL
West (4).

Each team's regular season consists of 162 games, a duration
established in 1961 in the American League and 1962 in the National
League. From 1904 into the early 1960s, except for 1919, a 154-game
schedule was played in both leagues (7 opponents X 22 games apiece).
Expansion from 8 to 10 teams in each league in the early 1960s
resulted in a revised schedule of 162 games (9 opponents X 18 games
apiece, initially) in their expansion years, for the American League
in 1961 and the National League in 1962. Although the schedule remains
at 162 games to this day, the layout of games played was changed when
Divisional play began in 1969, so that teams played more games against
opponents within their own division than against the other division or
(beginning in 1997) the other league.

Unplanned shortened seasons were played in 1918 due to the United
States entering World War I, and in 1972, 1981, 1994 and 1995 due to
player strikes and lockouts. A 140-game schedule (7 X 20) was played
in 1919, and the schedule before 1904 varied from year to year.

Games are played predominantly against teams within each league
through an unbalanced schedule which heavily favors intra-divisional
play. In 1997, Major League Baseball introduced interleague play,
which was criticized by the sport's purists but has since proven very
popular with most fans. The interleague games are confined to the mid-
summer months. Typically many intra-division games are scheduled
toward the end of the season, anticipating the possibility of close
divisional races and heightened fan interest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MLB

You can usually tell when a company's been around for awhile. Look
around at layer after layer of processes, implemented to improve
business efficiencies. Generally, the older the company, the thicker
the process. And the more they're drowning in them.

The problem is, when the process trumps change, you can quickly find
yourself old and behind the times, getting smacked around by a bunch
of start-ups, beholden to nothing and no one. The processes that were
put in place to make the work better, and our working lives easier,
ultimately become stifling, especially when allowed to exist without
question.

But the leaders many times are the architects, and have the most to
lose from their destruction. So, what then? Is the process the most
important, or is the evolution/revolution of the final product?

So, I ask this of you management types - Force your employees to
question you. Find time to throw out the process altogether, and
challenge your employees to do better. Make them fight for their
ideas ferociously, and give them the room to implement and improve on
them.

Making the most badass product will always be more important than
those extra few minutes it takes to get there.

http://tinyurl.com/rxs4w

The most novel and most important concept introduced by Darwin was
perhaps that of natural selection. Natural selection is a process that
is both so simple and so convincing, that it is almost a puzzle why
after 1858 it took almost 80 years before it was universally adopted
by evolutionists.

To be sure, the process has been somewhat modified in the course of
years.

It is rather a shock for some
biologists to learn that natural
selection, taken strictly, is not
a selection process at all, but
rather a process of elimination.

It is the least well adapted individuals that are eliminated in every
generation, and those that are better adapted have a greater chance to
survive. Also, in recent years, there has been a great deal of
argument, what was more important, variation or selection. For me,
there is no argument.

The production of variation and true selection are for me inseparable
parts of a single process.

At the first step variation is produced by mutation and recombination,
and

at the second step the variants are sorted by selection. Of course,
during sexual selection real selection takes place.

Natural selection is the driving force of organic evolution and
represents a process quite unknown in inanimate nature.

This process enabled Darwin
to explain the "design" so
important in the arguments
of the natural theologians.

The fact that all organisms are seemingly so (perfectly_adapted) to
each other and to their environment was attributed by the natural
theologians to God's perfect design. Darwin however showed that

it could be equally well,
indeed even better, explained
by natural selection.

http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/e01_2/autonomy.htm

Is Death Responsible for Diversity?

Some of the hardest questions we struggle to answer in life surround
the phenomenon of death.

What happens when we die?
Is there something beyond death?
Is one way to go better than another?
Is it possible to escape death?
Why do we die, anyway?
Why couldn't we just live forever?

One explanation for death may come from the story of evolution. To
explore this question,

let us imagine a hypothetical
situation, a world in
which nothing dies.

(We will imagine also, for now,
that organisms would continue to
evolve along the same trajectory
as they do at present.)

Every organism that has ever existed in the past would exist now,
along with every organism present and every organism that has yet to
exist. Not only would the world contain these organisms, but all
potential organisms.

However many ways there may
be of being alive, it is certain
that there are vastly more ways of
being dead or rather, not alive.
– Richard Dawkins

All the representations of the ways of being 'not alive' would be
there, including those that we could not possibly fathom, those that
are not necessarily contingent to our present environment.

What this signifies, this absence of death, is a lack of natural
selection. When nothing can die, everything is selected for, nothing
is selected against.

No death implies;

no tests,

no judgments of fit or unfit,

no randomness or weeding-out
of the genome,

no consequence to anything that
is potentially detrimental
to the species.

This hypothetical situation is a look at the unchanging set of all
possible options, every combination of DNA that could potentially give
rise to life. Every possibility is valid.

This version of the world could only exist if we ignore three crucial
points;

1. the second law of
thermodynamics,

2. the definition of a niche
as it pertains to the
environment and to
evolution,

3. and the fact that without
these influential factors,
evolution, at least in the
sense that we now know
it, would not exist.

1. The second law of thermodynamics states that energy tends to go
from a state of high concentration to a state of expansion, or being
spread out. In other words, there is a tendency to move away from
potential energy. As we know it, the sun 'dies', gives off energy.
This energy is taken in by plants, which die and fertilize more plants
with that energy. They also give energy to any plant-eating animals,
which in turn give energy in decomposing to more plants.
Organisms give energy to other, carnivorous organisms by being eaten,
by dying. There is no way to create something new if some form of work
is not done.

Energy must be transferred, and the manifestation of this in evolution
is the process of death, and consequent creation or new life. It is
not possible to acquire something from nothing, the energy must be
used, given out, recycled. In the hypothesis version of the world,
there is no transfer of energy; there is only accumulation of life.
This would quickly exhaust the supply of energy and available space.

Another enormous side effect is that evolution would cease, at least
as it exists now.

A driving factor for this
process is the idea of
competition, which relies
on a loser, which implies
death or extinction.

"Indeed, the gist of every
selection is to favor individuals
that have succeeded in finding a
progressive answer to current
problems. The summation of all
these steps is evolutionary
progress."
- Mayr

A situation in which there is no death is a situation in which
everything is constant. Therefore there would always be the same
current problems and no catalyst to inspire any changes.

Elimination does not have
the 'purpose' or the 'teleological
goal' of producing adaptation;
rather, adaptation is a by-product
of the process of elimination.
- Mayr

No adaptation without elimination.

2. Death is also vital to the evolutionary niche, and the expansion
and contraction that occur within this niche. If death were non-
existent, we might have niches, but they would not be necessary. Every
organism would be able to live anywhere, to co-exist with any other
organism. This side effect of the absence spits in the face of our
current situation. According to Mayr, a niche is a "constellation of
properties of the environment making it suitable for occupation by a
species." (p 288) It's important to remember that an environment is
partially defined by what organisms inhabit it. So a niche evolves and
changes with its living constituents. "Open ecological niches or zones
are often repeatedly colonized by entirely unrelated organisms that,
once adapted to these niches, become by convergence, extremely
similar." (p 156, Mayr) This supports the hypothesis that the
definition of a niche includes the organisms to which it is home, and
it also spotlights the huge influence of selection pressure; what
worked then will work now, what worked there will work here.

3. If the niches are similar, they will probably yield similar
organisms and similar lineages. But if there is no selection pressure
then you could have penguins in the Savanna, giraffes on the South
Pole. There would be nothing barring these organisms from different
environments, because there is no death, no consequence for a lack of
compatibility between inhabitant and habitat. The world would be just
one big niche, where anything goes, anything is possible. If we do
away with natural selection, then we must consequently do away with
change, with evolution, with boundaries. "Whenever a species acquires
a new capacity, it acquires, so to speak, the key to a different niche
or adaptive zone in nature." (p 208, Mayr) The key merited is
contingent to the change only because the niche is 'locked' before the
change occurs. The boundaries we see are what create the selection
pressures that cause organisms to change and are often products of
selection pressures themselves. There is a direct relationship between
these phenomena. If we have change (evolution) and niches, then death
and natural selection are mandatory. Sources - Mayr, Ernst. What
Evolution Is. New York; Basic Books, 2001. Dennett, Daniel. Darwin's
Dangerous Idea.

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/evolit/s04/web1/bbr.html

Target of Selection.

For many years I used the term target of selection for the object of
selection. The more I realized, however, that natural selection is an
elimination process, the more I realized that the eliminated
individuals were the real target of the selection process and that it
was rather misleading to call the "leftovers" the target of
selection.

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/94/6/2091?ck=nck

Skeptic: Do you acknowledge that social influences do shape the
development of a scientists' ideas? It seems fairly clear, for
example, that Darwin's idea of natural selection was indirectly
influenced by Adam Smith's concept of the invisible hand. Natural
selection is, in fact, the invisible hand of nature. But I suspect you
would say that it doesn't matter because it is a correct
interpretation of nature.

Mayr: Well, actually, Darwin's metaphor of selection turned out to be
wrong. Natural selection is not a process of selection, it is a
process of elimination. Herbert Spencer, who was otherwise usually
wrong, had the right idea of the "survival of the fittest," defined as
those individuals that have certain characteristics that prevent them
from being eliminated. Nothing is being selected. Nature is just
eliminating the less fit.

Skeptic: Um, that's a debatable point. Is nature selecting for certain
traits or selecting against other traits? It's not just eliminating,
it is also selecting for certain characteristics, such as bigger
brains. Or are you saying there was simply a selection against smaller
brains?

Mayr: We have to be careful here to use the right words. You have to
make a distinction between selection of and selection for. Certain
individuals survived because they had certain characteristics, but
they weren't selected. The process consists of eliminating all the
others. There is also an important distinction between natural
selection and sexual selection. In sexual selection the female is
actually selecting males for certain traits, and this is different
from natural selection.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/mayr_interview.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_of_elimination
http://www.brembs.net/gould.html
http://www.wku.edu/~smithch/wallace/S510.htm
http://www.nicksherman.com/degreeproject/development.html

http://o2jamforum.e-games.com.my/attach.aspx/13946/x%5BO2Jam%5D-Competition-Chart-.gif

http://home.earthlink.net/~ob1gui/images/playgrid.gif

Virgil

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 8:19:52 PM2/13/10
to
In article
<260aaf2d-26d7-485b...@o3g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>,
Chazwin <chaz...@yahoo.com> wrote:

That is certainly a valid way of looking at it, particularly for
scientists.

Virgil

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 8:22:29 PM2/13/10
to
In article <hl7hfu$mgr$2...@news.eternal-september.org>,
John Jones <jonesc...@btinternet.com> wrote:

You said all sorts of things, but your saying things does not make them
true, nor does it force anyone to agree with what you said.

John Jones

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 11:01:48 PM2/13/10
to

I never made any claims to truths. I showed an incoherency.

John Jones

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 11:02:20 PM2/13/10
to

NO. All the way down. Past the turtles.

John Jones

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 11:02:49 PM2/13/10
to
what do you want

SkyEyes

unread,
Feb 13, 2010, 11:05:01 PM2/13/10
to
On Feb 13, 5:54 am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> "Is natural selection undeniable?"

Yes, it is undeniable, and it's exceeding easy to demonstrate.

Take two people of breeding age, of the same gender, who have the same
number of offspring. Plonk them both down in the wilds of
Yellowstone, unarmed, 20 yards in front of a hungry grizzly.

One of them will run faster than the other, and will survive to have
more offspring. Her/his genes - including that ability to run fast -
will be passed on to those offspring. The beneficial trait - being a
fast runner - has been selected by the environment. *That's all
natural selection is.*

You know, as much as you try to make this unintelligible rocket
science, it just isn't. It's perfectly straightforward and sensible,
and all your yammering isn't going to make it go away.

Brenda Nelson, A.A.#34
BAAWA Knight
EAC Professor of Feline Thermometrics and Cat-Herding
skyeyes nine at cox dot net

Sleepalot

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 2:50:56 AM2/14/10
to
SkyEyes <skye...@cox.net> wrote:

>On Feb 13, 5:54�am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>> "Is natural selection undeniable?"
>
>Yes, it is undeniable, and it's exceeding easy to demonstrate.
>
>Take two people of breeding age, of the same gender, who have the same
>number of offspring. Plonk them both down in the wilds of
>Yellowstone, unarmed, 20 yards in front of a hungry grizzly.
>
>One of them will run faster than the other, and will survive to have
>more offspring. Her/his genes - including that ability to run fast -
>will be passed on to those offspring. The beneficial trait - being a
>fast runner - has been selected by the environment. *That's all
>natural selection is.*
>
>You know, as much as you try to make this unintelligible rocket
>science, it just isn't. It's perfectly straightforward and sensible,
>and all your yammering isn't going to make it go away.
>

You don't necessarily have to run. If the person next to you is male,
you can just kick them in the nuts, and walk away quietly. ;-)

--
Sleepalot

ck

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 4:59:33 AM2/14/10
to
>> or the species, or the individual, which survives the environment.

>>
>> Selection speaks of thought, or if not thought then certainly
>> of choice. Judgment after a kind. Is this really true of nature?
>
> Now you are just replacing "natural selection" with "natural survival".
> But my whole point was that there is no process or relationship. It is
> grammatically invalid.


Grammatically invalid? Grammar is whatever we accept as grammar.

Whispering Grass

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 5:06:49 AM2/14/10
to
John Jones diketik:

> "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.
>
> We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
> turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
> have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
> non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
> natural selection doesn't work.
>
> What started out looking like a question that could be empirically
> ascertained as being true or "undeniable", actually turns out to be a
> species of tautology. In this case, synonyms (natural selection, and
> life-forms that exist) are erroneously regarded as different events in
> relationship.
>
> AN EXAMPLE to CLARIFY
> For example. We could say that "it is undeniable that explosions cause
> things to fly apart". Here the tautology is to regard the synonyms
> "explosion" and "fly apart" as two empirically real events in
> relationship, when in fact there is only one event.
>
> Similarly, "natural selection" and "existing life-form" aren't two
> empirically real events in undeniable relationship. There is no
> empirical relationship at all, as there is only one event.

Natural selection is wholly debatable if natural selection selects only
the strongest, most competitive and the fittest human at the cost of
weaker humans.

Human altruism denies all notions of natural selection. Darwin himself
pointed to his troubles with altruism in Origin of Species because
altruism, by choice or by impost of nature, was the death of his theory.
"Fatal", by his very own pen.

"I ... will confine myself to one special difficulty, which at first
appeared to me insuperable, and actually fatal to my whole theory. I
allude to the neuters or sterile females in insect communities: for these
neuters often differ widely in instinct and in structure from both the
male and fertile females, and yet from being sterile they cannot
propagate their kind."

The Origin of Species, Darwin C, pp228-229, republished by Forgotten
Books 2007.

Not even Edward Wilson could come to grips with the impact of altruism on
the idea of natural selection. Altruism is opposed at all angles by the
Darwinian advantage of the animal surviving long enough to generate its
own offspring.

Yet, adoption is commonplace and expected in mankind.

It is never ever observed in any animal that does not have at least a
rudimentary social structure, and even then, the adoption of some
brother's, mother's, sister's or father's offspring, as in meerkats for
example, is subject to certain known subterfuges (covering an adopted
meerkat in the tribe's faeces and urine) and to the infant never being
discovered as the offspring of an interloper by a dominant male.
Otherwise it is killed, with no thought for the infant and no mercy for
the individual whatsoever.

One only need count the never-ending parade of women looking for "good
fathers", fathers capable of loving, caring, nurturing, tutoring,
soothing and compassion... The social independence of women in choosing
husbands shows up the lie in natural selection because loving, caring,
nurturing, tutoring, compassion and serving are not traits generally
expected of the highly competitive man because the highly competitive man
is self-driven alone. Few and far apart are the self-serving males
capable of providing the desired environment of a woman wishing to bear
children.

In other words, in mankind, self-driven humans are anathema to be avoided
by all except the masochist.

Indeed, women in such cases often find themselves at the victim end of a
divorce suit. Yet many women find another male who loves her children ina
heart of gold, is loving, caring, sweet, affectionate, compassionate, and
a sensible provider the very same way as he loves herself.

What mystery is this?

Physically beautiful women frequently choose physically ugly men as
lifetime partners. Why? Because the man has a heart of gold, is loving,
caring, sweet, affectionate, compassionate, and a sensible provider - not
an animalistic brute bent on his own procreation. Sara and Ken Ehrett
being prime examples of this mystery of the whole of mankind.

Odder still is that Sara has the heart of gold, is loving, caring, sweet,
affectionate, compassionate, and is a sensible provider, while Ken is
handsome, attractive, strong and desirable. Go figure.

Too many are the men who believe that loving, caring, nurturing, tutoring
and soothing are weaknesses to be overcome. Worse even for the whole of
mankind, too many are incapable of showing affection of any kind to any
other human being at all.

If the rules of natural selection are 'the strongest, most competitive
and the fittest' then either the rules of natural selection are wrong or
they do not apply to the human species. The only other possible answer
for natural selection is that love, compassion and care for others at the
expense of the self are superlative traits that far exceed the worth of
physical fitness, strength and the wholly selfish drive to succeed for
ones self.

In other words, 'the strongest, most competitive and the fittest' does
not necessarily apply to any creature living within a social structure.
The survival of the individual animal is relegated to weakness over
against the strength of the survival of the group. Yet humans go further
still.

If natural selection applied to humans then humans would be a race of
selfish, animalistic brutes by now; mankind would never have outgrown a
primordial mindset of animalistic self-survival. Not ever. The entire
moral development of mankind would have been halted untold aeons ago and
man would be no better than a common fox or wolf.

Read all that again then try to conclude that mankind is certainly an
animal.

One conclusion that might be drawn is what?

Man is not an evolving animal. Man is an evolving spiritual being, and
man's evolution is inexorably spiritual, evolving from the selfish brute
with a care only for his own survival to the 'loving, caring, nurturing,
tutoring and serving' human that is in all of us, if we would only admit
it.

Mankind's science does not make room for mankind itself. Science can
strip the animal kingdom down to bare, observations that are wholly
predictable, and mankind's science can try to strip mankind down to the
same level as the animal, but science always fails when one human, either
man or woman, stands up and shouts, "I am not what you say I am!"

Man is not an animal because man knows Love and Love comes from God.

--
From the light I came, and to light I shall return.

TruthSlave

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 5:18:06 AM2/14/10
to

Ah now we have the scientific definition of Selection, which
doesn't need to recognize its effect on the collective conscience
when that word Selection is heard. The same words sharing differing
interpretation. My point is natural survival would more truthfully
describe this theory of adaption.

Maybe there was a point being made with those words 'natural'
selection, and we've all but lost sight of that point.

Back to your explanation of this principle. It seems to me there
is a limit to this principle. Whilst it may work in the rest of
nature, i wonder if this instinct to reproduce is compatible with
intelligence.

The fittest would also have to be unconscious of their control
by instinct. unconscious of the question and its routine. If
not unconscious then allowed another relation to the behaviors
determined on instinct. The fittest is what survives, first and
foremost it must be ruled by this instinct.

tg

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 6:48:11 AM2/14/10
to

We can't; there are two separate things.

Chance creates choices.
Selection selects.

That's why the process is so fascinating. Absent mutation (random
changes within the particular population context) there would be no
evolution at all. Absent selection, evolution would be random.

That last does occur in small populations.

-tg

Zerkon

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 7:26:19 AM2/14/10
to
On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 12:54:42 +0000, John Jones wrote:

> "Is natural selection undeniable?"

Selection needs a selector which suggests intention or will. Nature then
is put in place as acting in a process it is detached from. Since it can
select or perceive one thing from another, it must then be able to
observe and be detached from differences in order to select.

So yes, natural selection is deniable in that 'selection' is perfectly
deniable by it's implications.

"Is survival undeniable?" might come closer in describing the event.

SkyEyes

unread,
Feb 14, 2010, 3:12:33 PM2/14/10
to
On Feb 14, 12:50 am, Sleepalot <sleepalo...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> You don't necessarily have to run. If the person next to you is male,
> you can just kick them in the nuts, and walk away quietly.  ;-)
>
> --
> Sleepalot

<ROFLMAO>

...

<Cough>

<Choke>

<Gasp>

Okay, okay, now you made me laugh myself into an asthma attack. No
Death By Chocolate cookies for *you*.

;-P

Brenda

Immortalist

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 1:51:22 AM2/15/10
to
On Feb 13, 8:02 pm, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> what do you want

I gave a definition of natural selection as the process of elimination
and you attempted to change the subject, thats a red herring.

A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented
in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea
is to "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument
and to another topic. This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because
merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument
against a claim.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/red-herring.html

Errol

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 4:19:03 AM2/15/10
to
On Feb 13, 2:54 pm, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.
>
> We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
> turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
> have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
> non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
> natural selection doesn't work.
>

Yes! If there were leprechauns about the garden, I would imagine that
you pointed to one.
Would you also have swirled a wand about though?

> What started out looking like a question that could be empirically
> ascertained as being true or "undeniable", actually turns out to be a
> species of tautology. In this case, synonyms (natural selection, and
> life-forms that exist) are erroneously regarded as different events in
> relationship.
>

No! You can ask it anytime you wish

> AN EXAMPLE to CLARIFY
> For example. We could say that "it is undeniable that explosions cause
> things to fly apart". Here the tautology is to regard the synonyms
> "explosion" and "fly apart" as two empirically real events in
> relationship, when in fact there is only one event.

So would you light a firecracker and shove it up your ass?
How many events would there be?

>
> Similarly, "natural selection" and "existing life-form" aren't two
> empirically real events in undeniable relationship. There is no
> empirical relationship at all, as there is only one event.

You know that nature doesn't select. Circumstances simply weed out the
slow, the lazy, the stupid, those without sufficient weaponry and
those too eager to use it.

Chazwin

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 5:28:56 AM2/15/10
to

Genes don't so much survive. Nature de-selects (ie they die)
individuals that
are less fit. It's not very precise and sometimes the fittest don't
survive.
This process is completely thoughtless.
If that is the case how the fuck can you get a selfish gene? It's
gibberish.


>
> Selection speaks of thought, or if not thought then certainly
> of choice. Judgment after a kind. Is this really true of nature?

Clearly not.

Chazwin

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 5:31:59 AM2/15/10
to
> Selection speaks of thought, or if not thought then certainly
> of choice. Judgment after a kind. Is this really true of nature?

The thing about 'selection' is that Darwin was using as his model
captive breeding of domesticated animals
in which man 'selected' certain traits that he wanted to preserve. The
language is a cross over. When Nature selects
it does it with as little or as much cognisance as you want to
interpret into it. Thus a materialist sees a mechanism, a theist sees
the hand of god.


Chazwin

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 5:33:06 AM2/15/10
to

How ?

Chazwin

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 5:43:57 AM2/15/10
to

Not at all. Selection is sloppy. As the only selective criteria is
viable progeny, nature does not care if that viable progeny
are congenital idiots, as long as they have more children they are in.
If they do not , then they are out.
Alturism can be explained by the simple fact that it is a successful
strategy, and has at some point in man's past conferred
an advantage over other competitor species. But the will to altruism
cannot tell by looking at another individual if it shares
the same genes - or if it shares ANY genes. You can be as altruistic
to a puppy dog as you can to a child who lives 10 thousand miles away.
Atruism does not have to lead to successful progeny - nature does not
select genes -it selects successful individuals and the groups to
which they belong.
Success is only about viable progeny.

>
> Human altruism denies all notions of natural selection.

Wrong - see above.

> Darwin himself
> pointed to his troubles with altruism in Origin of Species because
> altruism, by choice or by impost of nature, was the death of his theory.
> "Fatal", by his very own pen.

>
> "I ... will confine myself to one special difficulty, which at first
> appeared to me insuperable, and actually fatal to my whole theory. I
> allude to the neuters or sterile females in insect communities: for these
> neuters often differ widely in instinct and in structure from both the
> male and fertile females, and yet from being sterile they cannot
> propagate their kind."
>
> The Origin of Species, Darwin C, pp228-229, republished by Forgotten
> Books 2007.
>
> Not even Edward Wilson could come to grips with the impact of altruism on
> the idea of natural selection. Altruism is opposed at all angles by the
> Darwinian advantage of the animal surviving long enough to generate its
> own offspring.

See above.

>
> Yet, adoption is commonplace and expected in mankind.

See above.

>
> It is never ever observed in any animal that does not have at least a
> rudimentary social structure, and even then, the adoption of some
> brother's, mother's, sister's or father's offspring, as in meerkats for
> example, is subject to certain known subterfuges (covering an adopted
> meerkat in the tribe's faeces and urine) and to the infant never being
> discovered as the offspring of an interloper by a dominant male.
> Otherwise it is killed, with no thought for the infant and no mercy for
> the individual whatsoever.
>
> One only need count the never-ending parade of women looking for "good
> fathers", fathers capable of loving, caring, nurturing, tutoring,
> soothing and compassion... The social independence of women in choosing
> husbands shows up the lie in natural selection because loving, caring,
> nurturing, tutoring, compassion and serving are not traits generally
> expected of the highly competitive man because the highly competitive man
> is self-driven alone. Few and far apart are the self-serving males
> capable of providing the desired environment of a woman wishing to bear
> children.

All survival techniques.

>
> In other words, in mankind, self-driven humans are anathema to be avoided
> by all except the masochist.

That is a survival technique.


>
> Indeed, women in such cases often find themselves at the victim end of a
> divorce suit. Yet many women find another male who loves her children ina
> heart of gold, is loving, caring, sweet, affectionate, compassionate, and
> a sensible provider the very same way as he loves herself.
>
> What mystery is this?

None at all. many people kill themselves, others never have children.
So what?

>
> Physically beautiful women frequently choose physically ugly men as
> lifetime partners. Why? Because the man has a heart of gold, is loving,
> caring, sweet, affectionate, compassionate, and a sensible provider - not
> an animalistic brute bent on his own procreation. Sara and Ken Ehrett
> being prime examples of this mystery of the whole of mankind.

And your problem with this is....?

That is not an explanation.
If heaven is so great then why not kill yourself and do us all a
favour?
It would be an altruistic thing to do.

Chazwin

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 5:53:22 AM2/15/10
to
On Feb 14, 10:18 am, TruthSlave <T...@home.com> wrote:
> Virgil wrote:
> > In article <bXDdn.146379$Fm7.70...@newsfe16.iad>,

> >  TruthSlave <T...@home.com> wrote:
>
> >> Selection speaks of thought, or if not thought then certainly
> >> of choice. Judgment after a kind. Is this really true of nature?
>
> > Selection only requires a criterion and a mechanism.
> > The criterion is the match of the individual to its environment and the
> > mechanism is differential reproduction, the fittest reproduce most.

This is not precise enough. 'Most' is not as relevant as 'any viable
progeny'.
"most' misses the 'not so much' and the 'rare but continuing to the
next generation'
all of which are vital to the 'infinite variety' of which Darwin
spoke.

>
> Ah now we have the scientific definition of Selection, which
> doesn't need to recognize its effect on the collective conscience
> when that word Selection is heard. The same words sharing differing
> interpretation. My point is natural survival would more truthfully
> describe this theory of adaption.
>
> Maybe there was a point being made with those words 'natural'
> selection, and we've all but lost sight of that point.
>
> Back to your explanation of this principle. It seems to me there
> is a limit to this principle. Whilst it may work in the rest of
> nature, i wonder if this instinct to reproduce is compatible with
> intelligence.
>
> The fittest would also have to be unconscious of their control
> by instinct. unconscious of the question and its routine. If
> not unconscious then allowed another relation to the behaviors
> determined on instinct. The fittest is what survives, first and
> foremost it must be ruled by this instinct.


Sadly naturalists always use teleological language to muddy the issue
of Darwin.
If we are the result of natural (ie mindless) selection then nothing
can be said to be done for a purpose.
Tiger's stripes have no purpose, kidneys have no purpose. Nothing is
'FOR' anything.
The language that should be adopted is that Tiger's stripes can have a
demonstrable "function", so too a kidney and so on.
Purpose and 'for" is ambiguous. Creationist love this stuff because
they can insert god into the picture.
Also
Nothing can be said to be adapted "TO" its environment. That would
imply that nature knows where it is going to.
Things are adapted from their environment.

On your last point "fittness" is not an instinct, it only means able
to have progeny in a Darwinian sense; that
means gets enough food , mates and the offspring survive.

Chazwin

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 5:55:48 AM2/15/10
to
On Feb 14, 12:26 pm, Zerkon <Z...@erkonx.net> wrote:
> On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 12:54:42 +0000, John Jones wrote:
> > "Is natural selection undeniable?"
>
> Selection needs a selector which suggests intention or will. Nature then
> is put in place as acting in a process it is detached from. Since it can
> select or perceive one thing from another, it must then be able to
> observe and be detached from differences in order to select.

Duh. It's not 'selection'. It's Natural selection. Darwin put the
natural adjective in front to demonstrate that
the process of selection is... well ... natural. It happens
mechanically, like the planets go around the sun.
That is the whole point. Victorians knew what he was talking about.

Budikka666

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 8:43:21 AM2/15/10
to
On Feb 13, 6:54 am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> "Is natural selection undeniable?"

Natural selection is proven scientifically beyond a doubt.

> The question isn't valid.

Because it's stupid.

> It certainly isn't testable.

Yes it is. It's been tested and demonstrated. It's not the only
mechanism evolution employs, but it is a powerful one and it has been
demonstrated beyond any doubt.

> Here's why.
>
> We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
> turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
> have had some other form lined up.

Do you ever actually read what you write? "Nature had some other form
lined up?" LoL! You really are a dumb fuck aren't you?

You lost all options of being treated with any kind of respect at that
patently asinine and certainly unsupported claim. The rest of your
horseshit has been flushed where it belongs.

Budikka

John Stafford

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 8:56:57 AM2/15/10
to
In article
<a8c0ef75-747c-44f5...@o3g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>,
Budikka666 <budi...@netscape.net> wrote:

> On Feb 13, 6:54�am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> > "Is natural selection undeniable?"
>
> Natural selection is proven scientifically beyond a doubt.

Tell us what you know of Natural Selection. Is it linear? Bottom-up?
Does it improve a species over time?

Christopher A. Lee

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:02:01 AM2/15/10
to
On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 07:56:57 -0600, John Stafford <nh...@droffats.ten>
wrote:

It's survival to reproduce, imbecile. Actually reproductive advantage.

John Stafford

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:05:38 AM2/15/10
to
In article <7tkin556odshv9v10...@4ax.com>,

Answer the questions. Is it linear? Bottom-up? Does it improve a species
over time?

Christopher A. Lee

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:08:26 AM2/15/10
to
On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 08:05:38 -0600, John Stafford <nh...@droffats.ten>
wrote:

>In article <7tkin556odshv9v10...@4ax.com>,
> Christopher A. Lee <ca...@optonline.net> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 07:56:57 -0600, John Stafford <nh...@droffats.ten>
>> wrote:
>>
>> >In article
>> ><a8c0ef75-747c-44f5...@o3g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>,
>> > Budikka666 <budi...@netscape.net> wrote:
>> >
>> >> On Feb 13, 6:54�am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>> >> > "Is natural selection undeniable?"
>> >>
>> >> Natural selection is proven scientifically beyond a doubt.
>> >
>> >Tell us what you know of Natural Selection. Is it linear? Bottom-up?
>> >Does it improve a species over time?
>>
>> It's survival to reproduce, imbecile. Actually reproductive advantage.
>
>Answer the questions. Is it linear? Bottom-up? Does it improve a species
>over time?

I answered the only meaningful one, imbecile.

John Stafford

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:12:50 AM2/15/10
to
In article <t8lin5p1sa8lv6io2...@4ax.com>,

Christopher A. Lee <ca...@optonline.net> wrote:

> On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 08:05:38 -0600, John Stafford <nh...@droffats.ten>
> wrote:
>
> >In article <7tkin556odshv9v10...@4ax.com>,
> > Christopher A. Lee <ca...@optonline.net> wrote:
> >
> >> On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 07:56:57 -0600, John Stafford <nh...@droffats.ten>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> >In article
> >> ><a8c0ef75-747c-44f5...@o3g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>,
> >> > Budikka666 <budi...@netscape.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> On Feb 13, 6:54�am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> >> >> > "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> >> >>
> >> >> Natural selection is proven scientifically beyond a doubt.
> >> >
> >> >Tell us what you know of Natural Selection. Is it linear? Bottom-up?
> >> >Does it improve a species over time?
> >>
> >> It's survival to reproduce, imbecile. Actually reproductive advantage.
> >
> >Answer the questions. Is it linear? Bottom-up? Does it improve a species
> >over time?
>
> I answered the only meaningful one, imbecile.

Indeed you did answer by presenting a case that demonstrates that a
person can reproduce and survive without being intelligent, and he can
argue without being informed.

John Jones

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:33:37 AM2/15/10
to


No, the claim is that random processes create designs in the process we
call natural selection. But the designs that exist are already defined
by us as being selected. We can't then appeal to nature to back up our
claim that natural selection exists.

Christopher A. Lee

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:42:34 AM2/15/10
to
On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 08:12:50 -0600, John Stafford <nh...@droffats.ten>
wrote:

A liar as well as an idiot - but then we knew that already.

It's tautologically simple: what survives to reproduce, survives to
reproduce.

John Jones

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:43:48 AM2/15/10
to

We choose only existent life-forms as examples of being naturally
selected. It follows that, grammatically, any life-forms that are not
existent can't be considered for being naturally selected.

John Jones

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:53:22 AM2/15/10
to

If I deliberately select an apple only from a barrel-full of red apples
then, grammatically, I can't make the claim that it is more likely that
apples are selected than pears.

Similarly, if I choose only from existent life-forms as examples of
natural selection then I can't make the claim that it is more likely
that the existent is naturally selected rather than the non-existent.

huge

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:54:43 AM2/15/10
to
John Jones :

Keep playing word games that stupid and they'll never let you into
middle school.

Grammatically -- my ass.

--
huge: Not on my time you don't.

John Jones

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 9:55:33 AM2/15/10
to
Chazwin wrote:

> Genes don't so much survive. Nature de-selects (ie they die)
> individuals that
> are less fit. It's not very precise and sometimes the fittest don't
> survive.
> This process is completely thoughtless.
> If that is the case how the fuck can you get a selfish gene? It's
> gibberish.
>
>
>> Selection speaks of thought, or if not thought then certainly
>> of choice. Judgment after a kind. Is this really true of nature?
>
> Clearly not.


?
All genes die. And if the fittest don't survive then how would they be
the fittest?
You can't identify a natural process and then say that there is no
natural design.

tg

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 10:00:25 AM2/15/10
to

You may call it that, but scientists don't. Again:

1) Random processes create designs.
2) Nature selects some designs for reproduction.

Scientists call that Evolution. "Natural selection" is a component of
evolution, as I explained, and evolution can occur without natural
selection.

-tg

Budikka666

unread,
Feb 15, 2010, 5:50:24 PM2/15/10
to
On Feb 15, 7:56 am, John Stafford <n...@droffats.ten> wrote:
> In article
> <a8c0ef75-747c-44f5-8069-6f83431d4...@o3g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>,

>
>  Budikka666 <budik...@netscape.net> wrote:
> > On Feb 13, 6:54 am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> > > "Is natural selection undeniable?"
>
> > Natural selection is proven scientifically beyond a doubt.
>
> Tell us what you know of Natural Selection. Is it linear? Bottom-up?
> Does it improve a species over time?

Why are you asking these questions in alt.atheism? Why don't you get
yourself a good book and educate yourself - that is if you actually
want to know the answers as opposed to just puffing yourself up all
over Usenet.

Start here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection

Budikka

John Jones

unread,
Feb 16, 2010, 9:12:39 PM2/16/10
to

Random processes don't create design. We create design. And the design
we choose for natural selection is our own design. We can't then appeal
to nature as the designer.

Immortalist

unread,
Feb 16, 2010, 9:22:16 PM2/16/10
to
On Feb 13, 8:02 pm, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> Immortalist wrote:

> > On Feb 13, 4:54 am, John Jones <jonescard...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> >> "Is natural selection undeniable?"
> >> The question isn't valid. It certainly isn't testable. Here's why.
>
> >> We define only an existing life-form as being selected. We can't then
> >> turn around and say that nature selected that form, for nature might
> >> have had some other form lined up. We could, in fact, point to a
> >> non-existing life-form and say that because it doesn't exist then
> >> natural selection doesn't work.
>
> > Natural selection is just the process of elimination. Here are some
> > prime examples of the default notion, look see the way of natural
> > selection behind team playoff's and other examples.

>
> >> What started out looking like a question that could be empirically
> >> ascertained as being true or "undeniable", actually turns out to be a
> >> species of tautology. In this case, synonyms (natural selection, and
> >> life-forms that exist) are erroneously regarded as different events in
> >> relationship.
>
> >> AN EXAMPLE to CLARIFY
> >> For example. We could say that "it is undeniable that explosions cause
> >> things to fly apart". Here the tautology is to regard the synonyms
> >> "explosion" and "fly apart" as two empirically real events in
> >> relationship, when in fact there is only one event.
>
> >> Similarly, "natural selection" and "existing life-form" aren't two
> >> empirically real events in undeniable relationship. There is no
> >> empirical relationship at all, as there is only one event.
>
> NO. All the way down. Past the turtles.

That theory doesn't explain as much as natural selection, mutation and
genetic crossover do when combined into evolution.

Occam's Razor

The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should
make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no
difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis
or theory: entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.

This is often paraphrased as "All other things being equal, the
simplest solution is the best." In other words, when multiple
competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle
recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions
and postulates the fewest entities. It is in this sense that Occam's
razor is usually understood.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor

one should not increase,
beyond what is necessary,
the number of entities required
to explain anything

...one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed. This
principle is often called the principle of parsimony. It underlies all
scientific modelling and theory building. It admonishes us to choose
from a set of otherwise equivalent models of a given phenomenon the
simplest one. In any given model, Occam's razor helps us to "shave
off" those concepts, variables or constructs that are not really
needed to explain the phenomenon. By doing that, developing the model
will become much easier, and there is less chance of introducing
inconsistencies, ambiguities and redundancies.

Though the principle may seem rather trivial, it is essential for
model building because of what is known as the "underdetermination of
theories by data". For a given set of observations or data, there is
always an infinite number of possible models explaining those same
data. This is because a model normally represents an infinite number
of possible cases, of which the observed cases are only a finite
subset. The non-observed cases are inferred by postulating general
rules covering both actual and potential observations...

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/occamraz.html

John Jones

unread,
Feb 16, 2010, 9:22:19 PM2/16/10
to

If we define an existing life-form as being naturally selected, then,
how can we suggest that an existing life-form is selected by natural
selection?

Immortalist

unread,
Feb 16, 2010, 9:25:00 PM2/16/10
to

If religious behavior is an instinctual drive and the best theory
explains these behaviors based upon evolved neural structures in the
brain and natural selection is part of evolution and atheism is
against religion and those behavior then it is relevant;

Certain religious ideas, specifically, the personal nature of "spirit"
persist in cultures worldwide. There are certain concepts that our
minds easily entertain. Much like language acquisition,

the mind automatically receives certain
concepts more readily than others.
[Instinctual Bias]

Religion ...is the normal product of normal human minds, functioning
in the normal way, and that the normal way is the normal way because
of the evolutionary design of the human mind.

An agent is defined as some entity that is moved or guided by its own
awareness and goals; for us humans, other human beings are among the
most important agents in our environments, but there are also the
various non-human animals.

[This] agency [awareness], probably, evolved hair-triggered in humans
to respond “automatically” under conditions of uncertainty to
potential threats (and opportunities) by intelligent predators (and
protectors).

From this perspective, agency is a sort of “Innate Releasing
Mechanism” (Tinbergen 1951) whose proper evolutionary domain
encompasses animate objects but which inadvertently extends to moving
dots on computer screens, voices in the wind, faces in the clouds, and
virtually any complex design or uncertain circumstance of unknown
origin

This insight into the supernatural as the by-product of a hair-
triggered agency detector was first elaborated by Guthrie (Guthrie
1993; cf. Hume 1957[1756]). We further ground it in the emerging
theory of folkpsychology.

supernatural agents are readily conjured up
because natural selection has trip-wired cognitive
schema for agency detection in the
face of uncertainty.

Uncertainty is omnipresent; so, too, the
hair-triggering of an agency-detection mechanism
that readily promotes supernatural interpretation
and is susceptible to various forms
of cultural manipulation.

Given that the presence of other agents (and what they are doing)
matters to our prospects for survival and reproduction, partially
explains why we are over-sensitive to their presence.

Detecting a predator that is not there
is not a terribly bad thing;

failing to detect a predator that is
there is much more serious.

And something very similar goes for prey: Detecting lunch that isn't
there is much less serious than failing to detect lunch when it is
there. Our capacities for agency detection should be tuned to generate
more false positives than false negatives. For evolutionary reasons,
we should expect to 'detect' some agents which are not there.

The perception of (accidental) patterns of
cues in our environment may be at the root
of the detection of supernatural
agents, of gods.

Cultural manipulation of this modular mechanism and priming facilitate
and direct the process. Because the phenomena created readily activate
intuitively given modular processes, they are more likely to survive
transmission from mind to mind under a wide range of different
environments and learning conditions than entities and information
that are harder to process (Atran 1998, 2001). As a result, they are
more likely to become enduring aspects of human cultures, such as
belief in the supernatural

http://personal.bgsu.edu/~roberth/log2002.html
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/2002/aug02/Sellick.htm
http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/08/our_innate_tend.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle

huge

unread,
Feb 16, 2010, 9:58:07 PM2/16/10
to
John Jones :

Whaddya mean "we," fnord man?

> then,
> how can we suggest that an existing life-form is selected by natural
> selection?

--

huge

unread,
Feb 16, 2010, 10:05:10 PM2/16/10